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Casting Couch: Paul Dano to Experience ‘Love & Mercy’ of Brian Wilson, Dominic Cooper Goes Bond (Sort Of), and More

Wilson and Dano

What is Casting Couch? Today, it’s making deals at Sundance while also trying to drum up interest in its newest film, Exterior. Karaoke Club.

Hey, that Brian Wilson biopic has finally got a lead! A press release (via ComingSoon) reveals that the River Road film about Beach Boy Wilson (not baseball player Wilson, duh) that was first announced back in 2011, Love & Mercy, has picked up Paul Dano to lead its cast as the once-troubled singer and songwriter. The Bill Pohlad-directed and Oren Moverman-penned film will reportedly “take an unconventional look at Wilson’s unique musical process as well as his struggles with mental illness, and how he managed to persevere as an artist with the love and support of his wife, Melinda.” Even better? Trent Reznor is reportedly in talks to score the film. Dano might be an offbeat pick for the role, but hey, he’s got the hair down pat. We have a good feeling about this one.

Dominic Cooper

Dominic Cooper

Variety reports that Dominic Cooper has just locked up a role to play James Bond creator and author Ian Fleming in a new four-part biopic that the U.K.’s Sky Atlantic, in association with Ecosse Films and BBC America. The miniseries is currently going by the name Fleming, and is “set during WWII when the maverick and hedonistic Fleming was hired by British Naval intelligence as part of its undercover campaign against the Nazis, after his careers as a banker and stockbroker failed.” It was Fleming’s experiences in WWI that shaped his most beloved creation – and, incidentally, it sounds as if Fleming’s experiences with both women and booze also influenced Bond’s predilection for them. The series will be directed by Mat Whitecross and penned by John Brownlow and Don Macphereson.

Tyrese Gibson

Tyrese Gibson

While we might all like to think that the Fast and Furious crew is just always filming one of their many upcoming sequels, that’s apparently not exactly true, as Fast 6 star Tyrese Gibson has reportedly finished his work on the new project, just in time to join the cast of Kasi Lemmon‘s Black Nativity. BlackFilm reports that the Lemmon-written-and-directed film is actually a musical based on the the Langston Hughes gospel musical of the same name, which will allow Gibson, who has released five of his own albums, to sing on film. He joins a cast that includes Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Jennifer Hudson, and Jacob Latimore. The film is a modern retelling of the nativity story that centers on a teenager (named Langston!) who is sent to Harlem to spend the Christmas holiday with his grandparents, who he has never met. Lessons are learned, songs are sung, hearts are charmed. Sounds lovely!

James Franco

James Franco

And finally, in James Franco news (the best, most confusing kind of news), Deadline Hollywood reports that the Sundance-trotting multi-hyphenate has just signed on star in and direct Beautiful People, a biopic of, as the outlet puts it, “charismatic playboy and visionary Jay Sebring,” which sounds like the most appropriate role for Franco ever, and particularly so when you realize that Sebring was a visionary for styling hair. Dream big, kids! But that’s not all, as the outlet also reports that the “film charts the rise of Sebring as a self-created men’s grooming pioneer, as he climbed the social ladder in Hollywood during the 60s.” And just as we’re all laughing at the idea of putting “self-created men’s grooming pioneer” on a resume, the news also reveals that the Lauren Wild-penned script will also include the romance he had with doomed starlet Sharon Tate. Oh.

Kate is an entertainment and culture writer and editor living in New York City. She is also a contributing writer for VanityFair.com, Cosmopolitan.com, RollingStone.com, Vulture, MTV.com, Details.com, The Dissolve, Screen Crush, New York Daily News, Mental Floss, and amNY. Her previous work can also be found at MSN Movies, Boxoffice Magazine, and Film.com. She lives her life like a French movie, Steve.

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